Detica has record gain after takeover news

by Editor 7/22/2008 4:07:00 PM
UK technology consultancy Detica had a record increase in London trading after getting a preliminary takeover approach from BAE Systems Plc, the biggest defence company in Europe.

Detica’s value increased 33 percent, giving the consultancy a market value of 465.2 million pounds. This is Detica's biggest gain since it first sold shares in April 2002.

“A take-out price of 413 pence could be achievable, maybe more if a competitive bidding situation arose,” said Dresdner Kleinwort analyst Graham Brown.

Detica did not identify the company that had approached it in the statement regarding the offer on July 18. It was the Financial Times that identified the defense giant as the bidder.

The Guildford-based consultancy provides fraud detection software to the Internal Revenue Service and software for counter terrorist operations to the British Ministry of Defence. Government contracts account for over a half of the company’s revenue. It is considered to be a leading independent IT services provider in UK government security, which is what makes it attractive to the defence sector. Its other clients include UBS AG and Barclays Plc.

BAE is interested in the information technology services Detica provides to the British government, and the offer it has made is still informal, so it remains to be seen whether or not it leads to a formal bid.  

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Axon Group acquires SAP consultancy in Australia

by Editor 7/18/2008 2:32:00 PM
IT consulting jobs,Axon jobs,Axon careers
Leading SAP Business Transformation consultancy Axon Group Plc. has announced that its Australian branch Axon Solutions Pty Ltd. has brought Consulting Principles Pty Ltd., an Australian provider of specialized logistics and supply chain SAP consulting services.

Axon will pay the initial sum in the amount of A$3,45 million in cash and payments of A$3 million will be made later depending on the firm’s business performance over the next two years.

Consulting Principles was founded in 2001. It has offices in Sydney and Brisbane and its clients include Queensland Rail and the Department of Environment & Climate Change, New South Wales.

Axon CEO Steve Cardell said:

“Axon is already the largest independent consultancy in the world, and we have driven significant growth by leveraging our deep expertise in the Aerospace & Defence, Utilities, Transportation and Public Sector markets. The acquisition of Consulting Principles builds on our existing strengths in supply chain solutions. I am delighted to welcome the partners and employees of Consulting Principles to Axon.”

Consulting Principles Managing Partner Anthony Hawkins added:

“The acquisition by Axon represents a tremendous opportunity for all of us at Consulting Principles. Through our existing relationship with Axon International, Consulting Principles has developed a good understanding of the potential that the combined entities represent both in Australia and globally. Our expert product knowledge, deep vertical industry expertise and business outcome focus enables us to provide superior service to our existing and future customers. Axon's SAP focus, alignment to our values, shared market strategy, and bias towards business outcomes were critical to making this acquisition happen.”

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Indian IT companies eye European IT services firms as potential acquisitions

by Editor 7/18/2008 2:25:00 PM
Indian IT companies are sizing up IT services firms in Europe as potential acquisitions, reports ContractorUK.com. The reason for this is Indian IT firms’ having more than enough money from various outsourcing deals, but being short of staff as they grow faster than the supply of new graduates come in.

Indian business press has speculated that French consultancy Capgemini is a possible target for acquisition and that IT giants Wipro and Infosys have both shown interest in buying it.

These days, Indian firms are being advised to seize the opportunities that open up because the economic crisis has lowered the price of such potential acquisitions.

Many European IT services firms that had already set up their own business operations in India have sold them to Tata, Infosys and other major Indian IT companies.

The problem companies face is the lack of qualified graduates to fill in new positions as business rapidly keeps growing. Universities in smaller cities don’t always provide the same quality of training. Professors with good IT skills usually swap teaching for more lucrative jobs in the IT sector.

A study by the McKinsey Global Institute shows that out of the 360,000 engineering students who graduate every year, only 25 percent are employable, while only ten percent of the remaining 600,000 graduates may be ready to take on a job.

To address the situation, India’s IT services giant Tata Consultancy Services has reportedly started spending more than two percent of its annual revenue on staff training.

Acquiring a company like Capgemini, for instance, would not only get Wipro or Infosys the qualified IT staff they need, but it would also get them employees who already speak the native language of the country.

To browse and apply for the latest consulting jobs at Capgemini, please visit our IT consultant job board.

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Capgemini to replace IBM at Surrey Council

by Editor 7/17/2008 4:05:00 PM
Capgemini is the new incumbent IT services provider at Surrey County Council. The consultancy has replaced IBM after signing a five-year deal, which went into effect in March.

Capgemini will replace and host Surrey’s SAP-based IT infrastructure and provide upgrades and support over the next five years. The company will also host and support a new SAP social-care system for Surrey.

Surrey is the last in line of recent successes for Capgemini in the UK local government space. Others include an £83 million extension of a deal with the Croydon Borough Council and winning a deal in West Sussex.

Dorset County Councillors have also decided to award a five-year, £6.5 million deal to Capgemini. The consultancy will introduce a new computer system called Enterprise Resource Planning as part of the council's Fit for the Future efficiency programme, which is expected to save them £8.6 million a year.

Corporate resources director Elaine Taylor says: "Capgemini were the unanimous recommendation of the project team. At an external cost of around £6.5 million to implement and run the system for five years, this is a major investment for the county council."

To browse new Capgemini jobs and apply online, plese visit our job board.

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Deloitte CFO survey: worst of credit crunch still to come

by Editor 7/17/2008 4:03:00 PM
Chief financial officers from the top 350 companies in the UK suggest that the worst of the credit crunch has yet to come.

Deloitte recently polled 83 CFOs from these companies only to find that 66 percent of them disagree with US treasury secretary Henry Paulson, who recently said that the most pronounced effects of the crisis had already passed.

Nine out of ten UK CFOs said that taking out a loan was still “costly” for their company, while 77 percent said that credit was “hard to obtain” in the current economic climate.

Margaret Ewing, partner and vice-chairman at Deloitte, said: “The squeeze on liquidity is increasingly transmitting itself to the corporate sector through a reduced supply and rising cost of credit. Tighter credit conditions have triggered a major change in corporates’ attitude to debt. Enthusiasm for raising, borrowing – or gearing – has fallen sharply.”

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PA Consulting appoints new Head of Technology and Healthcare

by Editor 7/17/2008 3:58:00 PM
The PA Consulting Group has appointed Martin Smith Head of the Technology and Healthcare Group (THG). He succeeds Alec MacAndrew, who retires in July 2008.

Smith has seven years of experience as Senior Partner and ten years as a Member of PA’s Management Group. With a degree in Geophysical Science from Southampton University, early on in his career, Smith focused on Energy, IT and Finance. He joined PA in 1998.

Smith’s previous work with the PA THG staff included various joint projects and sales activities. As Head of Technology and Healthcare, he will oversee several hundred employees, based mostly at PA’s Cambridge Technology Centre in the UK.

PA Consulting’s Technology and Healthcare Group is a very successful part of the company. In the upcoming period, its main goal will be to strengthen PA’s brand presence and sales base in different areas of the company’s expertise: technology development, process improvement, business strategy, etc. The main focus will be on the pharmaceutical, biotech, manufacturing, FMCG and wireless technology industry across the globe.

To browse the latest career opportunities with PA Consulting, please visit out IT job board.

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SAP Enterprise Support available to all SAP customers

by Editor 7/17/2008 1:01:00 PM
SAP AG says that all SAP customers will have the recently launched SAP Enterprise Support offering available to them starting January 1, 2009.

This illustrates SAP’s dedication to offering support to their clients, as well as new solutions that are in tune with the clients’ evolving needs.

IT consultant jobs,IT careers,tech consulting jobs

SAP Enterprise Support was launched earlier this year. It represents the next step in support offerings and provides support to mission-critical business processes and heterogeneous software environments.

The market has already embraced the new Enterprise Support and the reviews have been positive. More than 350 SAP customers have signed on for the transition.

Uwe Hommer, executive vice president of SAP Active Global Support, says: “As the market leader in business software solutions, SAP serves a customer base of the world’s most innovative leading companies, and they need a support offering that is equally innovative. SAP customers are embracing and taking advantage of the increased flexibility and agility of an SOA strategy as well as complementing their SAP solution landscape with composite applications and third-party solutions. SAP Enterprise Support, unlike any other offering, addresses all of these elements, beyond traditional support, to enable companies to more rapidly and efficiently achieve the benefits of SOA – while keeping their core systems running smoothly. SAP remains committed first to customer success and SAP Enterprise Support is yet another innovative offering that helps our customers become best-run businesses.”

The current customers will witness some of the benefits of SAP Enterprise Support in July, long before the transition is complete, at no added cost before January 2009.

SAP Enterprise Support will eventually completely replace previous support offerings such as SAP Standard Support and SAP Premium Support. It provides support to SAP customers through a 24/7 service-level agreement, ongoing quality checks, support advisory and advanced support for the implementation of SAP ERP enhancement packages and support packages.

“SAP Enterprise Support is the natural evolution of SAP’s previous support offerings and is an indication fo ongoing trends in software support services,” says Elaina Stergiades, senior research analyst at IDC’s Software Support Services. “Enterprise customers are demanding a more robust support solution from their support providers and SAP is answering that call with SAP Enterprise Support. Integrating advanced tools with proactive support capabilities can free support staff to focus on high-value interactions with IT departments and end users. In addition, enterprises are looking for their support services providers to offer end-to-end capabilities for their environments. With SAP Enterprise Support, SAP will be able to provide a more complete software support solution for its customers.”

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Detica: UK could stay behind in information sharing

by Editor 7/16/2008 4:22:00 PM
detica,detica jobs,IT consulting jobs
Technology and business consulting firm Detica says that the UK government must address the challenges of international information sharing as soon as possible or the country may find itself left behind by the rest of Europe.

The UK is already falling behind in personal information sharing owing to identity theft fears and lack of trust in the Government when it comes to safeguarding privacy.

“In our increasingly mobile world, cross-border travel is now fast becoming the norm, particularly in Europe with the free labour market. From a public services perspective, personal information needs to be equally mobile and travel with people across borders so that authorities can determine their entitlement to benefits such as healthcare. In the UK, we are being held back by public debate and concerns over data protection, which means that information sharing initiatives are seen as threats to our personal privacy,” says Anthony Golledge from Detica’s Government division, adding:

“We need to find ways to carefully 'open up' our benefits databases and healthcare records systems. If we get left behind, the risks are two-fold. Firstly, UK citizens will find it more difficult to get public services in Europe — such as healthcare — to which they are entitled. Secondly, information sharing between these databases and IT systems helps us close the loopholes that fraudsters can exploit to use public services like the NHS for free. Clearly, sharing information across borders to improve services and spot the digital footprints that are strong indicators of fraud or abuse will involve making some trade-offs between security and privacy, but we need to act quickly.”

The consequences of the country’s lagging behind in information sharing include putting Europeans travelling to Britain and UK residents travelling to the European mainland at a disadvantage because of the lack of access to public services when they travel.

“The information revolution and the explosion in digital data has truly changed the world and is forcing us to rethink all aspects of our lives as a consequence — just as fraudsters and benefit cheats have been doing. There are huge potential advantages for European citizens if Governments can co-ordinate international information sharing on a much wider scale. In the UK, the Government's National Identity Scheme has a vital role to play in plugging our information sharing gap by giving us a 'passport' to access our personal information wherever we are. We will need to balance our very real concerns for personal privacy with the potential benefits to our health, security and way of life. Ultimately, getting this balance right will have major implications for many other aspects of our lives, from vetting foreign teachers coming to work in UK schools to deciding whether somebody should be granted asylum in the UK,” Golledge concludes.

Browse and apply for the latest Detica jobs on the TopITconsultant job board.

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Bank to cut 1,800 IT jobs in the UK

by Editor 7/16/2008 4:17:00 PM
Barclays will cut 1,800 IT jobs in the UK as part of the plan to create global technology “centre of excellence” that will be opened in key offshore locations.

Over the next couple of years, global infrastructure and service delivery (GISD) jobs will be cut in the UK and new roles created in India, Singapore and Hungary. As many as 700 UK tech jobs will be lost by September this year.

A total of 1,800 UK tech jobs will be lost by 2010, including IT contractors. This will leave only 1,000 GISD roles in the UK, mainly based in London and Cheshire.

Barclays will in turn be able to create about 1,700 new jobs in the global technology centres of excellence. The UK IT employees who lose their jobs will be offered voluntary redundancy packages or redeployed to jobs at the same level and in the same locations.

Out of the 700 UK IT jobs affected by the plan this year, fewer than 50 tech employees are expected to be faced with compulsory redudancy.

Keith Brookes, national secretary for Barclays at the trade union Unite, says:

“We can avoid heavy duty compulsory redundancies because of the long lead time on the talks between Barclays and the union. The move is inevitable, but we have to ensure that the UK is maintained as a centre of excellence and we have that commitment from the bank.”

“Barclays’ ambition is to become one of a handful of universal banks leading the global financial services industry, helping our customers and clients throughout the world to achieve their goals,” says a Barclays representative. “We need to transform to a global organization, able to serve the needs of our customers and clients who have operations around the world. As far as possible, we will manage the reduction in headcount by reducing the number of contractors and temps we employ.”

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Computer engineering – the most lucrative college major today

by Editor 7/16/2008 4:12:00 PM
A degree in computer engineering will get a graduate hired for the best paid positions straight out of college, according to Forbes.com.

Computer engineers with less than five years of work experience earn $60,500, while those with 10 to 20 years of experience make $104,000 annually. Tech services companies like Cisco Systems, AT&T and Hewlett-Packard are always hiring new computer engineering majors.

As Al Lee, director or quantitative analysis at Payscale.com, says: “Everything today has a computer in it.”

Payscale.com, an online salary comparison tool which collects salary information from 10 million users, has looked at median salaries for all jobs in the database and found that the four best paid college majors for graduates and those with less than five years of work experience are all related to engineering and computer engineering is at the top of the list.

“It’s all a matter of supply and demand. Engineers tend to stay at their jobs longer, so getting the good people right out of college is important,” adds Lee.

The number of engineering degrees, however, has not grown as much as one would expect because the training programs are generally rigorous. This works to the benefit of the students who finish them, as firms are aware that they are getting quality staff and are consequently willing to offer them better compensation.

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